Bakare, writing on Instagram, confirmed that the restaurant would have a new home in 2023, but that “unforeseen circumstances” had led the closure to arrive sooner than she had planned. She says that she “needs all her strength” to get through the sudden change of plan.
Bakare opened the restaurant in September 2020, but Chishuru only ended up trading for six weeks of that year, thanks to the in-and-out cycle of lockdowns and tiers occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. The closures meant she could not take full advantage
Those 42 days still proved to be pivotal not just for Bakare, but for London’s restaurant world as a whole: they established Chishuru as one of the most exciting, coveted, and consistent places to eat in the city.
2021 and 2022 have seen Bakare and her team only go from strength to strength, introducing a set menu structure at both lunch and dinner to counter rising cost pressures, and broadening a portfolio of exciting dishes that engage in West African culinary traditions without being straitjacketed by them. Sinasir, a crisp yet chewy brown rice pancake adorned with fermented carrots and tangerine; the butter yellow sweetness of ekoki set against the savour of grilled mackerel; and a now lesser-seen bavette dusted with an ecstatic yaji.
But with popularity comes with logistical difficulty, and the diminutive restaurant — which contributes so much to its atmosphere — has become unavoidably restrictive over time. Bakare and Chishuru’s trajectory is only on the up, and her move will be the next step in the evolution of one of the city’s best restaurants.